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Mukhtasar - 4

2017-01-05
January 5, 2017

 

KHALĪL’S ABRIDGMENT:

Bilingual text and explanation (4)

 

Author’s introduction

(مُقَدِّمَةُ المُؤَلِّف)

 

 و(بِالتَّرْجيحِ) لابْنِ يونُسَ كَذَلِكَ،

by the term “juristic preference”, Ibn Yūnus’ preference. In a similar vein, whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to his personal preference, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his preference for one of the pre-existing views on disputed issues;

 وَ(بِالظُّهورِ) لابْنِ رُشْدٍ كَذَلِكَ،

by “outward soundness” what Ibn Rushd deemed so. Again, whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to what he personally deemed congruous with the outward meaning, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his approval of a pre-existing view as being so;

وّ(بِالقَوْلِ) لِلْمازَرٍي كَذَلِكَ.

and by “the statement” what was said by al-Māzarī. Whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to a novel view he expressed, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his endorsement of a pre-existing view.

وَحَيْثُ قُلْتُ: خِلافٌ، فَذَلكَ لاخْتلافٍ في التَّشْهيرِ،

Wherever I say, ‘A disagreement (exists)’, it is due to the existence of a scholarly disagreement as to which view is the famous one (mashhūr),

وَحَيْثُ ذَكَرْتُ قَوْلَيْنِ أَوْ أَقْوالاً فَذَلِكَ لِعَدَمِ اطِّلاعي في الفَرْعِ عَلَى أَرْجَحِيَّةٍ مَنْصوصَةٍ.

and wherever I mention two or more views in the alternative, that is due to the fact that I have not come across, on the derivative issue, any explicit textual proclamation of the preferability of one over the other.

 

“ … by the term “juristic preference”, Ibn Yūnus’ preference”:

Here is another common term in Khalīl’s special lexicon.

Tarjīh (“juristic preference”) means to declare a juristic view qualitatively preponderant, i.e. preferable, over another, in a scenario of discordant views.

The verb in the trilateral form (rajaha) originally meant, as typical of the Arabic language in its motion from the tangible to the metaphorical, the concrete outweighing of one scale of the balance over the other. It was later extended to denote the act of lending preference to or fortifying something [Rajjahtu Zaydan ‘alā ‘Amr, i.e. I favoured Zayd over ‘Amr].

In the fiqh, a view is preferred over an alternative one because I have assigned greater power to it.

 

Ibn Yūnus (d. 451 AH) is the Imām Abū Bakr Muhammad b. ‘Abdillāh b. Yūnus (Yūnus was thus the name of his grandfather he was famously ascribed to) at-Tamīmī, belonging therefore to the tribe of Banū Tamīm, as-Saqallī, the Sicilian, the largest Mediterranean island. He lived in fact there, prior to his relocation to al-Qayrawān, where he resided until 449 AH, when, two years before his death, the social and political turmoil brought about by al-Mu`izz b. Bādīs as-Sanhājī and his proclamation of independence from Fatimid rule, forced him into exile (together with many other savants), precisely to al-Mahdiyyah where he met his death.

He engaged a lot in armed warfare to raise Allah’s word the highest, and was known for his valiant strength.

In Sicily, he learnt from Judge Abu’l-Hasan al-Hasā’irī and ‘Atīq al-Faradī (“the expert in fixed inheritance shares”), both of whom are mentioned in al-Qādī ‘Iyād’s Tartīb al-Madārik.

He authored a work on the law of fixed inheritance shares (Al-Farā’id) and his multi-volume Al-Jāmi` li-Masā’il al-Mudawwanah wa al-Mukhtalatah, both of them recently published by the Beirut-based Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. The latter, one of the most important texts in the school, is a detailed commentary on Al-Mudawwanah and masā’il from other mother-books as well.

Due to the soundness of its exposition of juristic issues and the abundant knowledge gathered in it, it was referred to, as said by al-Mawwāq (a famous commentator on this abridgment), as “the mushaf of the madhhab”.

 

“… in a similar vein, whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to his personal preference, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his preference for one of the pre-existing views on disputed issues”:

The same considerations are applicable here as apply to the term “ikhtiyār” relating to al-Lakhmī.

The verbal form rajjaha indicates a juristic preference Ibn Yūnus first expressed, whereas the nominal forms al-arjah (a comparative noun: the more preponderant, the preferable) and al-murajjah (a noun of the patient: the preferred view, the view deemed qualitatively preponderant) indicate the preference he gave to a view expressed before him.

 

Preference (tarjīh):

Ibn Yūnus’ juristic preference

 

 

“He preferred/favoured”:

Ibn Yūnus’ novel juristic preference

“The preferred (view)”:

Ibn Yūnus’ preference for one of the pre-existing views

 

 

 

“… by “outward soundness” what Ibn Rushd deemed so”:

Another key term recurring in the abridgment.

It means what Ibn Rushd the grandfather, the renowned Cordovan judge Abu’l-Walīd Muhammad b. Ahmad (d. 520 AH / 1156 CE) who authored Al-Muqaddimāt al-Mumahhidāt and the monumental Al-Bayān wa at-Tahsīl deemed congruous with the outward meaning of a foundational narration.

 

“Again, whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to what he personally deemed congruous with the outward meaning, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his approval of a pre-existing view as being so”:

Same as above.

Hence:

The verbal form (istazhara) indicates a novel view of his Ibn Rushd deemed outwardly sound, whereas the nominal form (zuhūr) stands for a pre-existing view he deemed so.

 

Outward soundness (zuhūr):

What Ibn Rushd deemed so

 

“He deemed outwardly sound”:

Ibn Rushd’ novel view he deemed so

“Outward soundness”:

A pre-existing view Ibn Rushd described thereby

 

“… by “the statement” what was said by al-Māzarī”:

He is the matchless mujtahid Imām of the broadly understood Maghrib, Abū ‘Abdillāh Muhammad b. ‘Alī b. ‘Umar at-Tamīmī al-Māzirī or al-Māzarī (d. 536 AH) as it has both been spelled. The correct spelling should be al-Māzarī, as he was originally from Mazara del Vallo on Sicily’s north-west coast. He is also al-Mahdawī as a noun of ascription to the Tunisian town he settled and operated in, al-Mahdiyyah.

A prominent student of al-Lakhmī, whose exceptional talent manifested at a precocious age, in his childhood, he was proficient in fiqh and usūl al-fiqh, hadīth, medicine, arithmetic and literature. People took him as a reliable authority in medicine just as they did in fiqh. It is said that the genesis of his engagement in that science was the fact that he fell ill, and a Jewish doctor who used to treat him said to him, ‘Master, the like of me treats the like of your person, so what act of attaining nearness to the Lord can I possibly find in my dīn if I cause the Muslims to suffer your loss?’. Since then, al-Māzarī devoted himself to medicine as well.

He was a man of good character whose circle of learning was peppered by witty remarks, pleasant anecdotes and plentiful poetical quotations.

One day during his adolescence he was sitting in the company of an imam when news came that it was a day of Ramadān, though the people had not gone to sleep having made the intention for fasting. Al-Māzarī said, ‘This day is not made up according to the view of some of Mālik’s students, based on an anomalous narration (riwāyah shādhdhah).’ His teacher grabbed him by the ear and said to him, in a reproaching tone, that if he went all the way in pursuing that knowledge, a zindīq (heretic freethinker) would come out of him. He then approvingly declaimed the verse: {If you see of the crescent its growth, you are certain that it will become a full moon.}

This is very instructive in an age where half-baked scholars toss around the most eccentrically anomalies in the school, as if they were the equals of “that which fatwā in the school is based upon”.

Apart from his commentaries on Judge ‘Abdu’l-Wahhāb’s At-Talqīn and al-Juwaynī’s Al-Burhān in fiqh and usūl al-fiqh respectively, both of which have been published by Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, in the field of hadith his major textual contribution is his commentary on Muslim’s authentic collection, Al-Mu`lim bi-Fawā'id Muslim, the published version of which was edited by my late teacher Muhammad ash-Shādhilī an-Nayfar.

Al-Qādī ‘Iyād built on it for his own elucidation, titled Ikmāl al-Mu`lim. He would first present al-Māzarī’s explanation, and would follow it up with his own interpretative take.

The chain of Mālikī commentators on Sahīh Muslim continued with a trio, the work of each of them bearing the title Ikmāl al-Ikmāl (the Completion of al-Qādī ‘Iyād’s Completion of al-Māzarī’s Al-Mu`lim).

·        Abū ‘Abdillāh Muhammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Baqqūrī, a noun of ascription to the Andalusian town Baqqūr. He was a student of al-Qarāfī, whose Furūq he abridged (Al-Habīb b. Tāhir has co-edited it for the Lebanese publisher Mu’assasah al-Ma`ārif);

·        ‘Īsā b. Mas`ūd b. al-Mansūr al-Mankalātī (a noun of ascription to Mankalāt, a Moroccan tribe) az-Zawāwī (a noun of ascription to a Moroccan town or to the tribe inhabiting it, Zawāwah). He travelled to Alexandria, Gabès, Cairo, Damascus and back to Egypt;

·        Abū ‘Abdillāh Muhammad al-Ubbī (a noun of ascription to Ubbah, a Tunisian village), whose splendid work has been published in Arabic.

 

“Whenever the verbal form is used, that is a reference to a novel view he expressed, whereas the use of the nominal form is a reference to his endorsement of a pre-existing view”:

Same as above.

Use of the verbal form qāla, as in: “He said, like his doubt about fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, whether it is ‘Īd)”: A reference to a novel of view of his.

Use of the nominal form, the noun of the patient maqūl, as in: “It would not be binding on them, according to what has been said (‘alā al-maqūl)”: A reference to an anterior view al-Māzarī verbalized.

 

“Statement” (qawl):

What was stated by al-Māzarī

 

“He said”:

A novel view of his al-Māzarī verbalized

“It was said”:

An anterior view al-Māzarī verbalized

 

 

 

Ibn Ghāzī (841-910 AH), the erudite scholar from Meknes, who penned the irreplaceable Shifā al-Ghalīl fī Hall Muqfal Khalīl, published in two volumes, in 2008, by Markaz Najībawayh, on unlocking the cryptic expressions used by Khalīl in his abridgment, raised and answered therein four interesting questions:

·        Why did Khalīl single out for mention the said four savants (al-Lakhmī, Ibn Yūnus, Ibn Rushd and al-Māzarī? Because they abounded in juristic choices within the school, to an extent unequalled by others.

·        Why did Khalīl advance mention of al-Lakhmī over mention of Ibn Yūnus, despite the latter’s seniority? Because al-Lakhmī was more prone to daring juristic choices. In At-Tabsirah, in fact, he often quotes the fiqh on the issue and then adds: “As for me, my view is such-and-such”.

·        Why did Khalīl make the verbal form a pointer to the savant’s personal (novel) view and the nominal form a pointer to his endorsement of a preceding scholarly view? Because the verb denotes a novel contingency, the occurrence of something new in time, and is thus better suited to express what the savant personally originated at some point in time; whereas the noun denotes something settled, firmly entrenched, and is thus better suited to express an entrenched view advocated by earlier jurists.

Why did Khalīl single them out, respectively, for juristic choice, preference, outward soundness and statement? Because al-Lakhmī exceeded the other savants in (bold) juristic choices he made, as we stated earlier, the bulk of Ibn Yūnus’s ijtihad consisted of preference accorded to a view over another, whereas his own novel views were comparatively rare, which is way, with him, Khalīl makes seldom use of the verbal form “rajjaha”, Ibn Rushd relied a lot (Al-Bayān wa at-Tahsīl makes it amply clear) on the outward wording of a report in the school, and he achieved a widespread prominence (zuhūr) surpassing fellow savants in the madhhab, and, lastly, al-Māzarī, having reached a peak of mastery over rational and transmitted sciences, from which he towered above the rest of scholars, the “statement” became what he had said, as in the proverb “the statement is what Jadhām had said”, based on the poetical verse: {If Jadhām says something, believe in its truth; the statement is in fact what Jadhām said.}

 

The foregoing shows the precision of both Khalīl and Ibn Ghāzī, may Allah have mercy on both of them. The latter, indeed, wrote a text comprising 100 beneficial points he drew from a short Prophetic hadith: “Abā ‘Umayr, what did the small nightingale do?”. Its title is Al-Mustanbatāt min-Hadīth Abī ‘Umayr. We intend translating another wonderful commentary on it, Ibn al-Qāss’s Juz’ fīhi Fawā’id Hadīth Abī ‘Umayr, Allah the Exalted willing.

How many a secret, indeed, are encompassed by the concise words of the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam!

 

“Wherever I say, ‘A disagreement (exists)’”:

Rather than “I mention”, since he is following it with an indirect speech.

Khalīl uses the word khilāf (disagreement) in the case of regularity (marfū`), as primate (mubtada’) of a nominal sentence, mentioning the predicate (khabar) as in: “There is disagreement about zinā”, or omitting it as in: “Do people repeat the prayer, whether before or after its appointed time? Disagreement”, i.e. “there is disagreement on that”.

 

 “… it is due to the existence of a scholarly disagreement as to which view is the famous one (mashhūr)”:

One savant ascribes wide acceptance/fame to a view, and another savant to a different view, whether or not they explicitly said “the mashhūr is this” or implied so, as with their expressions “the sounder view is this”, “the madhhab is to this effect”, and so on.

The term khilāf (disagreement) is used in a specific sense.

It is in fact a term applicable to one of two scenarios:

·        A disagreement as to the ruling itself;

·        A disagreement as to which view is the mashhūr.

Khalīl uses it in the latter sense only. That is true whenever he writes a complete speech, including the predicate of the primate khilāf, by which he lays down the ruling in the mas’alah.

Otherwise, in such syntactically incomplete phrases as “[a]nd he chose that there was disagreement; while he said, ‘Nay, in a testimony’” and “[i]s there disagreement?”, the term is used to denote the existence of a disagreement about the ruling itself.

 

“… wherever I mention”:

Rather than “I say”, since he is not following it with an indirect speech.

 

“… two or more views in the alternative”:

Two or more views in the mas’alah, whether he expressly employs qawl in the dual or in the plural, or does so impliedly as in “I referred to the two of them” or “the third view on that”, “the fourth view on that”.

 

“ … on the derivative issue”:

Far`, as opposed to asl or root-judgment.

A derivative mas’alah is the one branching out of an arch-rule (qā`idah).

For instance, our statement: “We may soundly purify ourselves with water of unqualified purity”, is an arch-rule or qā`idah encompassing many specific derivative rulings, such as: “We may soundly purify ourselves with water of unqualified purity some or all of the characteristics (taste, smell, etc.) whereof have undergone a change as a result of crossing a saltern”.

 

“… any explicit textual proclamation”:

Mansūsah in ‘Arabic, i.e. transmitted from the scholars, as opposed to a preferability Khalīl himself derives from the arch-rules (qawā`id), which he does not lean upon because of his scrupulousness.

Originally, the word nass in Arabic meant raising, lifting, e.g. a female gazelle raised (nassat) and stretched its neck, or a woman did so, as in a poem by Imru’u’l-Qays, the master of Jāhilī poetry.

Thereafter (transposition from concrete to abstract), it came to denote tracing a speech to the one who uttered it, as in a line of poetry by az-Zubayr b. ‘Abdi’l-Muttalib: {He traced the speech to its owners; trust is indeed in tracing it.}

This later, metaphorical sense, is the one employed by jurists, although they make the verb take an indirect object through the letter ‘alā (nassa ‘alā), though the verb is transitive in itself and takes a direct object. It is as if they have equated it, meaning-wise, to the verb for “alerted to, drew attention to” (nabbaha).

 

“… wherever I mention two or more views in the alternative, that is due to the fact that I have not come across, on the derivative issue, any explicit textual proclamation of the preferability of one over the other”:

If Khalīl has come across a single view he considers mashhūr, he limits himself to setting it out, consonantly with his earlier self-imposed obligation of “clarifying that by which fatwas are given in the school”; sometimes he adds to that the refutation of the conflicting view.

When he comes across two mashhūr views, he alludes thereto by his term “disagreement”.

If he is unable to discern any declaration of a view as mashhūr, he quotes the two or more alternative views, indicating that by such expressions as “I referred to the two of them” or “the third view on it”. 



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